Pour a glass of wine and join us for a Zoom cocktail party to celebrate Old Abe: A Novel by John Cribb Tuesday, September 15 from 6PM to 7PM. John will tell us about Lincoln, his novel, and writing it in Spartanburg. Join for free or purchase a ticket to receive a personalized, signed copy of the book shipped to your door! Book sales benefit the Hub City Writers Project.
"My best friend is a man who can get me a book.” – Abraham Lincoln in Old Abe
Old Abe: A Novel recounts the last five years of Abraham Lincoln’s life, the most cataclysmic years of America’s history. We are at Lincoln’s side on every page of this vivid novel as he presses forward amid disaster and comes to life once again fighting to save the country.
The story begins in the spring of 1860 in Illinois and follows Lincoln through his election and the calamity of the Civil War to his assassination at the height of power. During the war, he walks the bloody battlefields of Virginia and Maryland. He peers down the Potomac River with a spyglass amid terrifying reports of approaching Confederate gunboats. Death stalks him: one summer evening, a would-be assassin fires a shot at him, and the bullet passes through his hat. At the White House, he weeps over the body of Willie, his second son to die in childhood. As he tries desperately to hold the Union together, he searches for a general who will fight and finds him at last in Ulysses S. Grant. Amid national and personal tragedy, he struggles to find meaning in the war and bring freedom to Southern slaves.
Central to this novel is a love story—the story of Abraham and Mary Lincoln’s sometimes stormy yet devoted marriage. Mary Todd Lincoln’s strong will and ambition for her husband have helped drive him to the White House, but the presidency takes an awful toll on her, and she grows increasingly frightened and insecure. Lincoln watches helplessly as she becomes emotionally unstable, and he grasps for ways to support her.
As Lincoln’s journey unfolds, Old Abe probes the enduring character and spirit of America. This story portrays Lincoln not only as a flesh-and-blood man, but a hero who embodies his country’s finest ideals. Set amid America’s most devastating tragedy, Old Abe captures the triumphs and defeats of one of the greatest leaders in US history, the one who set a divided country on track to become a great nation.
This is the best book about Abraham Lincoln I’ve ever read. Why? In most books about him, you learn something about his life and times, his policies, the Civil War, and so on. But in the end, there is still something unapproachable about him. He’s still that rigid, copper image staring toward the edge of the penny.
This novel turns that copper face into a walking, talking, breathing fellow. And we walk right beside him, through the most catastrophic years in American history. John Cribb has brought Lincoln to life for us. We are with him for every blow and triumph of his journey and come to know his heart and soul as he fights to save the Union.
—William J. Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education and author of The Book of Virtues and America: The Last Best Hope
John Cribb is a bestselling author who has written about subjects ranging from history to education. His previous work includes coauthoring The American Patriot’s Almanac and The Educated Child, both New York Times bestsellers; co-editing The Human Odyssey, a 3-volume world history text, and developing on-line history courses. His writing has been published in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, National Review Online, and several other publications. During the Reagan administration, he worked at the Department of Justice, the Department of Education, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
A native of Spartanburg, SC, John studied literature at Vanderbilt University. He serves on the board of trustees of the Spartanburg County Public Libraries and the board of directors of the Hub City Writers Project, an award-winning publisher of Southern fiction and nonfiction. He and his wife, Kirsten, and are the proud parents of two daughters, Molly and Sarah.